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Bougainville separatist Miriori says ‘no’ to unity mission

Martin Miriori
Martin Miriori

STAFF REPORTER | Radio New Zealand

BOUGAINVILLE – Martin Miriori, a leading figure in the Bougainville separatist movement, says efforts to dissuade the people from seeking independence is too late.

Mr Miriori was speaking after it was revealed that former Papua New Guinea prime ministers Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Sir Julius Chan and Paias Wingti plan to visit Bougainville to try and ensure the country stays unified.

In June next year Bougainvilleans will vote on whether to become independent of PNG as the final step in their region's lengthy peace agreement.

The former prime ministers have been encouraged by prime minister Peter O'Neill to urge Bougainvilleans to stay within PNG, but Mr Miriori says they should have come earlier.

"The effort is too late, much too late. They should have come earlier.

“And some of these prime ministers that are trying to come - they are part and parcel of the problem."

Mr Miriori pointed out that Sir Rabbie was responsible for escalating the Bougainville crisis by sending in the PNG Defence Force, while Sir Julius tried to deploy the mercenary group, Sandline, to Bougainville.

Comments

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Harry Topham

Another Solomon Island debacle in the making perhaps?
Overlooking the old maxim that "Strength lies in Unity".

Ward Barry

We should have treated them as Papua New Guineans a long time ago. Though it saddens me that they will no longer be part of PNG, I am envious of the fact that they will be free from Peter's corrupt tyranny.

Mathias Kin

My honest opinion of how PNG had been run over 40 years now is that soon this country will disintegrate into little states.

This is how it will turn out within twenty years; Bougainville will get independence' New Ireland, East and West New Britain and Manus will join in independence; the two Sepiks, Madang and Morobe will combine; and all Papuan provinces will combine to become one state.

Now the highland will be problematic. However traditionally, most of EHP, Simbu and Jiwaka are linked by traditions and close associations through marriage and trade. They could form one country.

WHP, SHP, Enga and Hella are linked by tradition. They will become a nation.

Of course all these regions are not ready to run as a sovereign nation but the way our national government has let the people down for so long has caused so much frustration and anger among our people.

The people will see this as the only escape from the national government.

Friends, this is my only personal opinion.

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